The use of voice search has been on the rise in recent years. With the advancements in technology and the increasing popularity of smart devices, more and more people are using their voices to search for information online. In fact, more than 50% of adults worldwide use it daily.
This shift towards voice search also brings about a new challenge for businesses and marketers: voice search optimization. As the way people search changes, so should our approach to SEO.
In this article, we will discuss the basics of voice search optimization and how you can level up your SEO game to stay ahead of the competition.
Understanding Voice Search
Before we dive into the optimization techniques, let’s first understand what voice search is and how it differs from traditional text-based search.
Voice search is a technology that allows users to voice their queries instead of typing them. Voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa, as well as built-in features in smartphones and other smart devices, enable users to accomplish this.
Google Assistant powers more than 50,000 smart home assistants. On the contrary, 45.1% of voice assistant users preferred Apple’s Siri for voice searches.
Unlike traditional text-based search, voice search queries are often longer and more conversational. This is because people tend to speak in full sentences or phrases when using their voices, as opposed to typing short keyword phrases.
Why Voice Search Optimization is Important
With the rise of voice search usage, businesses and marketers must optimize their content for this new form of search. Here’s why voice search optimization is crucial:
- Changing Search Behavior: As mentioned earlier, voice search queries are longer and more conversational, which means traditional SEO tactics may not work for these types of searches.
- Local Search Dominance: Location-based voice searches often provide users with local results for their queries. For businesses that rely on local customers, optimizing for voice search is a must to stay competitive.
- Keeping Up with the Competition: As more and more people adopt voice search technology, businesses that haven’t optimized their content will fall behind their competitors who have.
58% of the consumers reported using voice search to find a local business.
How to Optimize for Voice Search
Now that we’ve established why voice search optimization is important let’s discuss some tips for optimizing your content:
- Long-tail Keywords: As mentioned earlier, voice search queries are longer and more conversational. This means that targeting long-tail keywords, or phrases with three or more words, is crucial for appearing in voice search results.
- Natural Language: When optimizing for voice search, it’s important to remember that people speak differently than they type. Use natural language and avoid keyword stuffing to ensure voice assistants easily understand your content.
- Local Search Optimization: As mentioned earlier, many voice searches are location-based. Make sure your business’s information is accurate and up-to-date on local directories such as Google My Business.
- Featured Snippets: Featured snippets, also known as “position zero”, are the selected search results that appear at the top of search engine result pages. These are often read aloud by voice assistants, making them a prime target for voice search optimization.
- Optimize for Mobile: Voice searches are mostly done on mobile devices, so a mobile-friendly website and accessible content are crucial.
- Provide Direct Answers: Voice search users are often looking for quick and concise answers to their queries. By providing direct answers in your content, you increase the chances of appearing in voice search results.
- Use Structured Data: Structured data, also known as schema markup, helps search engines understand the context of your content. Improve chances of appearing in featured snippets and rich results, often read aloud by voice assistants.
- Monitor Performance: Like with any SEO strategy, it’s important to regularly monitor and analyze the performance of your voice search optimization efforts. This will help you make adjustments and continue improving your content for better voice search visibility.
Likely, optimizing for voice search is here to stay. As tech improves, voice assistants become popular for daily tasks, while AI transforms business.